Woman’s ‘life ruined’ after housing firm ‘sells her dream home to higher bidder’

An IT consultant says her "life has been ruined" after the "dream home" she bought was allegedly sold to someone else for more money.

After signing her contract in December last year, Katie Grouse was told her new £584,000 house in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, would be built in February.

But after selling and moving out of her former home, she was told by housing firm Harron Homes that construction work on the property at the Oaklands Heath housing development would be delayed, YorkshireLive reports.

As a result, it meant the house wouldn't be ready in time for the deadline for the government's Help to Buy (HTB) scheme in February.

Despite the Help To Buy scheme being extended by at first one month and then three further months, Harron Homes still said it would be unable to finish the home and that the sale was off.

But Katie claims she has since found out her home has been sold to another customer at a much higher price.

The 39-year-old, from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, says the luxury homes firm has left her about £15,000 out of pocket in unexpected removal fees, storage fees, expenses and lost benefits of the HTB scheme.

And she says its failure to deliver has denied her a chance of benefiting from the government HTB scheme in the future as the criteria has now changed.

"I've been in a really dark place about it all and I've had to seek counselling because of all the stress," she told YorkshireLive.

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"I've given them every opportunity to come back to me with some sort of compensation, or just to say sorry, and they've ignored me.

"I'm now left out of a home – the way they've treated me is absolutely ridiculous.

"They've had months and months to build that home.

"They never should have exchanged contracts with me as there were only nine weeks to go before the initial deadline at that point, and I'm told it takes 19 weeks to build.

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"They've blamed everything from Covid to having no brickies, but they've been making good progress on their site at Fixby."

Katie said she had been told by one executive she would be given a £5,000 "goodwill gesture" but she said she'd not even had her £99 deposit returned, despite them selling the plot to someone else.

"It was my dream home," she added.

"It was something I was very excited about.

"I know Covid has presented some challenges but they've managed to build other houses but not mine.

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"I've had cost on cost over this but I'm never going to get another opportunity of financial assistance on another house and now I've also missed out on the stamp duty freeze window.

"My life is now ruined by what this company have done and the fact that they have gone back on their word to provide some assistance or a small amount of compensation to cover my losses, it’s just disgusting."

A spokesperson for Harron Homes Yorkshire said: "We have experienced increased build timescales in the same way most other developers have during the pandemic, competing for resources and the effects on the supply chain.

“Our Oaklands Heath development has a number of larger house types and in combination with a more challenging topography made it harder to predict completion time frames.

“The government recognised the difficulties developers were experiencing and did extend the Help to Buy deadline to reduce the number of customers affected.

"Unfortunately we were unable to meet the revised deadline for Ms Grouse to take advantage of the Help to Buy scheme.

"We have allowed Ms Grouse to rescind her contract without penalty and we have given a refund of deposit monies.”

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